A number of new commercial vehicles are due throughout the year

The Volkswagen Crafter will make a significant impression for the VW brand.

We look at some of the new vans hitting the showrooms.

Swish Crafter

There are a number of new commercial vehicles recently arrived or due through the rest of the year.

A new Volkswagen Crafter is no longer a shared vehicle with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and when it arrives will make a significant impression for the brand. An electric version will also swish out eventually, one of many EVs in the vans business coming… Mercedes will have a couple too, as previewed last year with their Vision Van.

The recently-arrived Fiat Talento is based on a new venture with Opel and Renault, and is an equally competent vehicle as the versions from those brands. Expect to see Fiat LCV sales rise with it. Fiat’s Fullback Pickup is also just about in showrooms, while upcoming in that particular segment are Renault’s Alaskan and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

The recently-arrived Fiat Talento is based on a new venture with Opel and Renault
The recently-arrived Fiat Talento is based on a new venture with Opel and Renault

Although it may take time for commercial variants to trickle down, new SUVs from Peugeot and Opel might well see LCV offerings here. We’ll see.

Meantime, Ford’s Transit and Transit Connect ranges were mildly upgraded last year, but significant changes were the inclusion of Euro 6 compliant engines across the ranges. So Ford vans of this time last year have now been importantly superseded.

Plattenwagen

Around 70 years ago, Dutch VW importer Ben Pon visited the Wolfsburg plant and came across a curious vehicle – the ‘Plattenwagen’. He subsequently made a sketch in his notebook of a vehicle type that did not exist at that time anywhere in the world.

His sketch became the launchpad for a vehicle that would sell in the millions – the Volkswagen Transporter. In commemoration of this idea, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unveiled a ‘70 Years of the Bulli’ special edition at the Geneva International Motor Show which combines the charm of the classic retro style with technology and quality of today.

The special edition model is based on the Multivan Comfortline and has been created using a mix of different elements from the Multivan Highline and the California, for example, the chrome trim and wood-look floor. Just right for spring, the special edition is also optionally available in fresh two-tone paintwork of Candy White and Metallic Kurkuma Yellow.

Renault’s Alaskan is about to hit the showrooms.
Renault’s Alaskan is about to hit the showrooms.

Special identifying features: the ‘Bulli’ badges and anniversary sticker on the rear window underline the relationship with its cult classic predecessor. The ‘70 Years of the Bulli’ special edition also features chrome trim including diverse chrome strips and chrome-look mirror housings.

In addition to that, the passenger compartment has tinted windows, the tread plates feature ‘Bulli’ lettering and stainless steel inserts and the loading edge covers of the rear hatch are also stainless steel. Matt black decals around the B-pillars round off the overall look.

In addition to the standard 17-inch ‘Davenport’ wheels, also available as options are the popular 18-inch ‘Disc’ wheels in the classic look with white rims or alternatively in classic silver.

The new special edition model looks strikingly sophisticated inside as well: deluxe lighting cleverly shows off the modified ‘Visitamo’ seat covers, which in turn are stylistically coordinated with the refined look of the ‘Dark Wood’ floor covering.

The ‘70 Years of the Bulli’ special edition is also equipped as standard with a multifunction leather steering wheel, a ‘Premium’ multifunction display and an instrument panel framed in decorative ‘Black Glossy’ trim otherwise available only in the Highline version.

The special edition has electrically adjustable, heated, fold-in exterior mirrors and also includes ParkPilot for front and rear as standard.

Workhorse

The new generation D-Max arrives this Spring and Isuzu are delighted to announce the range line up for the new truck.

The range line up from the much-loved D-Max is retained; Utility, Eiger, Yukon, Utah and Blade with a range of single, extended and double cab variants available.

The entry-level Utility D-Max, comes equipped with LED daytime running lights, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Bluetooth® connectivity, power windows and air conditioning.

Eiger double cab adds a reversing camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, audio system with CD player and 6 speakers.

Toyota Proace
Toyota Proace

Yukon adds 18-inch alloy wheels, silver side steps, new 7-inch multi-function touchscreen, LED rear lights, Cruise Control, rear load liner and a leather steering wheel.

Utah takes comfort up a notch with keyless entry with push button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, DAB digital radio, roof bars, leather upholstery with heated front seats, rear parking sensors, automatic air conditioning.

The range-topping Blade adds tinted windows, 9-inch multi-function touchscreen, remote locking lower tailgate, Blade puddle lamps, front and rear parking sensors, and a colour-coded Aeroklas canopy or sports bar with roller cover.

D-Max has been extensively overhauled with the biggest changes under the bonnet. A brand new 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine has been fitted, which produces 164 PS and 360Nm of torque.

The engine builds upon D-Max’s workhorse character and retains the 3.5 tonne towing capacity and 1 tonne payload whilst providing a quieter, more refined and economical driving experience. Another key benefit is that the new engine meets Euro 6 standards without the need for addition of AdBlue.

As per previous D-Max models, Shift-On-The-Fly 4x4 is a key feature of the 17MY truck. The rotary dial allows the driver to select four-wheel drive on the move as well as low range gears.

Finally, the D-Max comes with a five-year / 125,000-mile warranty, and was the first pick-up in the UK to be offered with such a comprehensive peace-of-mind package. Running costs are kept down by 12,000-mile or 24-month service intervals, five years’ recovery and European cover, a three-year paint warranty, and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Zero emissions

Citroën has extended its zero emissions LCV range with the introduction of a new Berlingo Electric L2 550 LX van. The new version joins the existing Berlingo Electric L1 635 LX model in the range.

The new Citroën Berlingo Electric L2 550 LX offers 250mm more load length than the existing L1 model (2,050mm compared to 1,800mm), and the

load volume is extended to 3.7m3 (in comparison to 3.3m3).

Factor in the standard specification Extenso folding passenger bench seat and the load length can be further extended to 3,250mm with a load volume of 4.1 m3. The Lithium-ion battery packs are fitted beneath the load floor, providing the same load area dimensions as an equivalent diesel powered Berlingo L2 model. The new Berlingo Electric L2 version also features twin sliding side loading doors as standard.

In response to customer feedback, all new Berlingo L1 and L2 electric models now benefit from a 16 A, Type 2 charging cable, supplied as standard with the vehicles.

This cable is compatible with the majority of public access charging points, and in November 2016, the Government announced a workplace grant that enables customers to take advantage of a price reduction for Type 2 EV charge points.

The new L2 van is powered by the same electric drivetrain as the Berlingo Electric L1 version, utilising a compact and highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor developing 49kW (67hp) and maximum torque of 200Nm. The front wheels are driven through a speed reducer and single ratio gearbox.

The 22.5kWh high-capacity Lithium-ion battery packs offer a range of up to 106 miles, measured on the NEDC cycle. Both Berlingo Electric vans can be re-charged to 80% of capacity in 30 minutes from a dedicated rapid charge point.

This uses the D/C rapid charging port, which is a standard feature on all Citroën electric vans. The drive motor also provides regenerative braking when the vehicle is slowing down, helping to re-charge the batteries and reduce brake wear.

Crufts cruisers

Already attracting a long list of canine-related customers from dog walkers to animal charities and pet transport, Mercedes-Benz Vans exhibited its dog-friendly vehicles at Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.

Representatives from Mercedes-Benz Vans were at hand to highlight how the award-winning range of vehicles, including a Vito Tourer and Citan crew van displayed on stand, can help keep dog-owners and businesses moving with the added benefits customers get when choosing the three-pointed star.

Mercedes Vito Tourer crew can help keep dog-owners and businesses moving with the added benefits customers get when choosing the three-pointed star.
Mercedes Vito Tourer crew can help keep dog-owners and businesses moving with the added benefits customers get when choosing the three-pointed star.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans said: “Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about animal welfare, being a very proud dog owner to a wonderful Westie called Gilbert.

“The business touchpoints that come from being a dog owner, from groomers to walkers to veterinary practices and everything in between all have a requirement for safe vehicles to carry our four-legged friends, so Crufts provides a great opportunity to show how our vans can be adapted to suit.”

Electric van

The 100% electric Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. has proved its eco-credentials once more after picking up Best Green Van at the Business Van Manager Awards in London last week.

The Kangoo Van Z.E., first launched in 2011, is powered by a 44kW electric motor and 22kWh lithium-ion battery and four versions are available: Kangoo Van Z.E., Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E. (2 seats), Kangoo Van Z.E. Maxi Crew Van (5 seats) and Kangoo Maxi Crew Van CAB Z.E (5 seats with windows). It has a range of 106 miles (NEDC).

Thanks to its zero tailpipe emissions, a payload of 650kg and load capacity of up to 4.6m3, the Kangoo Van Z.E. is ideal for urban deliveries.

Kangoo Van Z.E is Europe’s best-selling electric van. It carries over the same user-friendly functional features as the internal combustion-engined version and offers a silent, versatile driving experience with maximum torque available from start-up and seamless acceleration thanks to the absence of gear changes.

In January, the Kangoo Van Z.E. was unveiled with an uprated range of 168 miles NEDC – boosting its current range by over 60%.

Dashing Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz vans yet again clinched a double honours at the UK 2017 VansA2Z Awards, with the mighty Sprinter collecting Minibus of the Year and 4x4 Panel Van of the Year.

This lasted honour marks the sixth consecutive year that Sprinter has been awarded the 4x4 Panel Van title, and the fourth consecutive for Minibus of the Year, highlighting the versatility of this iconic van.

Peugeot Partner
Peugeot Partner

Neil McIntee, Editor of VansA2Z, said: “Apart from the inherent safety and reliability, it’s the breadth of the Sprinter 4x4’s model range that impresses. There’s one on offer for just about any application; from transporting up to six people, tools and equipment to isolated locations.

“Mercedes-Benz has also covered just about every base when it comes to occupant safety and seat configuration in the superb Sprinter Tourer minibus range. For your money you get an all-embracing package of standard and optional safety systems that cover pretty much all angles.”


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner